Lack of Government Support is Crippling Small Businesses

December 17, 2020

THIS WEEK IN DC - Biden officially wins electoral college; Support begins to cohere in Congress around a $900 billion COVID relief stimulus; Biden nominates Rep. Deb Haaland to be the first Native American to serve as Interior Secretary; William Barr to step down as AG; Biden selects Buttigieg to serve as Transportation Secretary; Biden selects Michael Regan, North Carolina environmental chief, to be first Black man to head the EPA.

 

 In This Issue 

  • Feature Story: Lack of Government Support is Crippling Small Businesses
  • The Only Way Out is Through The Case of French Muslims and Laïcité
  • Tanzin v. Tanvir Is a Win on Multiple Fronts
  • MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati pens op-ed in the Forward critical of the Anti-Defamation League, inviting commentary from both sides of the American debate on the Israel-Palestine issue.



 Featured Issue 

Lack of Government Support is Crippling Small Businesses

BAQIR MOHIE EL-DEEN ANALYZES THE PANDEMIC'S IMPACT

It’s been 332 days and 302,000 deaths since the COVID-19 virus was first confirmed in the United States. As the distribution of the new vaccine has started around the nation, many small businesses are worried that they will not be able to survive the pandemic. A recent study conducted by Reimagine Main Street, a nonpartisan campaign advocating for small businesses during the economic recovery, found that nearly 60% of small-business owners said they will need financial help or more capital in the next six months, with 10% stating that they expect to close permanently over the next six months. Another report done by Alignable’s Small Business Funding Needs stated that only 43% of small-business owners believe they have the means to survive through June 2021, while 87% need additional funds to survive, and 60% admit that their need is critical. Small businesses are hurting all over, including those owned by American Muslims.

Read the full analysis



 This Week at MPAC'S DC Bureau 

MPAC Human Security Program Manager Prema Rahman breaks down why last week's unanimous SCOTUS ruling allowing Muslim plaintiffs to seek money damages for being on No Fly List is a win on multiple fronts.

MPAC Policy Analyst Adam Beddawi analyzes the French policies toward Muslims and identified the political implications for all Muslims in the Western world.

MPAC Policy Analyst Adam Beddawi analyzes what the debate over section 230 reveals about the political faultlines that exist between Silicon Valley, the military-industrial complex, and both parties.

MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati pens principled critique of Anti-Defamation League  in the Forward, inviting commentary from both sides of the American debate on the issue of Israel-Palestine.

 

 Good to Know 

      • Imam Mohammad Yasir Khan becomes first ever Muslim chaplain appointed to the California state legislature.
      • This past weekend, U.S. intelligence agencies were breached. People close to the matter believe the hackers to be from Russian intelligence.
      • After weeks of speculation, Nina Turner announces her bid to succeed Marcia Fudge as the Representative of Ohio's 11th Congressional district.
      • Biden nominates Michael Regan to lead the EPA. If appointed, the North Carolina environmental chief would be the first Black man to ever lead the agency.
 

 

- This Week in History -

Dec. 14, 644, Uthman ibn Affan (R.A), companion of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), appointed 3rd Caliph of Islam; Dec. 14, 1995, The Dayton Peace Agreement is signed in Paris by leaders of various governments ending the conflict in the former Yugoslavia including Slobodan Miloševi?, Alija Izetbegovi?, Franjo Tu?man and Bill Clinton, ending the ?3 1⁄2-year-long Bosnian War; Dec. 16, 1920, Ma Yuanzhang, Chinese Muslim rebel and Sufi master, crushed to death during the 1920 Haiyuan earthquake at an unknown age;

Dec. 13, 1920, League of Nations establishes the International Court of Justice in The Hague; Dec. 15, 2015, Mayor of Flint, Michigan declares state of emergency over contaminated water supplies amid calls for a criminal investigation; Dec. 15, 1791, US Bill of Rights ratified when Virginia gives its approval, becomes amendments 1-10 of the US constitution; Dec. 15, 1791, 1st US law school established at University of Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 This Week's Feature 

 

 

By: M. Baqir Mohie El-Deen, Policy Programs Manager  
December 18, 2020

   

Lack of Government Support is Crippling
Small Businesses

A S THE NATION WAITS on the United States Congress to pass a second large-scale stimulus package, some states have created programs to help small business owners. Without the federal government, however, states can only afford to support a fraction of small businesses.

As the nation waits on the United States Congress to pass a second large-scale stimulus package, some states have created programs to help small business owners. Without the federal government, however, states can only afford to support a fraction of small businesses. On Tuesday of this week, the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Program opened up its applications for small business owners on a first-come, first-served basis at 9 a.m. By 12:30 p.m., the program had received 2,700 completed applications, with another 16,000 in progress, which is 28 times the number of businesses the program was designed to help. Similar programs have launched around the nation that faced a similar outcome that the Pure Michigan Small Business Relief Program did.

With the starting of the distribution of the new vaccine around the nation, many small businesses are worried that they will not be able to survive the pandemic. A recent study conducted by Reimagine Main Street, a nonpartisan campaign advocating for small businesses during the economic recovery, found that nearly 60% of small-business owners said they will need financial help or more capital in the next six months, with 10% stating that they expect to close permanently over the next six months. Another report done by Alignable’s Small Business Funding Needs stated that only 43% of small-business owners believe they have the means to survive through June 2021, while 87% need additional funds to survive, and 60% admit that their need is critical. Small businesses are hurting all over, including those owned by American Muslims.

Small businesses in the United States employ over 47% of the total workforce. According to Pew Research, 20% of the 31.7 million small businesses in the United States are owned by Muslims, which suggests that there are just over 6 million American Muslim-owned small businesses in the United States. American Muslim businesses are also feeling the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past decade, there has been a trend of American Muslims voting for the Democratic party in local, state, and federal elections. In spite of this trend, many Muslim business owners feel betrayed by the party that they helped elect for neglecting them during this pandemic.

TCD News, a local outlet, interviewed several Muslim restaurant owners in Dearborn, Michigan for feedback regarding the state-sanctioned restrictions on small businesses and the to-date lack of support from the federal government. Owners do not want to diminish the threat of the virus; they understand that the issue is serious. However, they feel that the government has been unfair to restaurants. While restaurants were the hardest hit of all small businesses, government lockdown orders have forced all, regardless of size, to close dine-in for customers. At the same time, gyms are allowed to remain open and commercial airlines operate at full capacity. Restaurant owners stated they need more than the scant support they received from the federal government thus far. Their employees cannot support their families off of a $362 a week unemployment check, which forces owners to assume the responsibility of helping out their laid-off employees — and, in many cases, not being able to do so. 

Restaurant owner Ali Abdullah stated that he’s simply asking for the government to look out for the small mom-and-pop shops that helped build the American middle class. Nothing more or less. Overall, many business owners are disgruntled with the governors of their states, Congress, and the President of the United States. They feel that their elected officials either politicized the pandemic for political gain, or neglected small businesses by creating local guidelines that hamstrung business owners in their attempts to apply CDC guidelines to their businesses.

It is time for a second stimulus package.

 

Eight months have passed since the first stimulus package, the CARES Act. Goldman Sachs’ CEO David Soloman recently stated that “90% of small businesses have exhausted [those] funds…[small] business owners have laid off workers and stopped taking salaries to stay afloat.” Earlier this week, Congress was discussing a bipartisan proposal for a $908 billion coronavirus-aid bill that included $300 billion for small businesses. The proposal plans on limiting loans to businesses that have fewer than 300 employees, and can demonstrate that they sustained at least a 30% revenue loss. These new requirements mark a departure from the first stimulus package that provided $525 billion in forgivable loans for businesses. That original package was designed to get money out quickly and was open to businesses with up to 500 employees. Business owners did not have to demonstrate lost revenue.

This proposed stimulus package fails to stimulate the economy, just like the CARES Act. The American economy is ultimately reliant on the health of small businesses nationwide. A stimulus package would be legislation that allows small businesses to safely operate at some capacity. A stimulus package would offer an incentive for employees to return to work, and not incentivize them for being laid-off. During these unprecedented times, our government needs to take unprecedented actions to protect small businesses from the COVID-19 virus as it follows the guidelines set by the CDC. Until it does, America will lose 800 small businesses each day to closures.

 

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